Announcing on Monday that it will invest billions of dollars to construct three battery factories and an electric truck factory in the United States, Ford Motor substantially boosted its commitment to electric cars and trucks, resulting in the creation of 11,000 jobs over the next four years.
The investment, according to the business, would allow it to manufacture more than one million electric cars per year by the second part of this decade, making it the single biggest in the company’s 118-year history, according to the company. Ford and a South Korean supplier will invest a total of $11.4 billion on the construction project.
With this statement, Ford becomes the latest multibillion-dollar corporation to commit to a rapid transition to electric vehicles and the phase-out of gasoline-powered automobiles and trucks as part of the global effort to fight climate change. Transportation, mostly automobiles and trucks, accounts for about 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, accounting for more than the power sector.
Environmentalists have long criticized automobile manufacturers for failing to react strongly enough to climate change and for marketing big, gas-guzzling trucks and sport utility vehicles that pollute the environment. However, the industry has undergone a difficult transition to electric vehicles in recent months as a result of increasing environmental concerns — as well as the competitive challenge presented by Tesla, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric automobiles.
Established automakers such as Ford and General Motors are rushing to catch up with Tesla, which is on pace to sell more than 800,000 electric vehicles this year, according to industry estimates. With a market value of almost $800 billion, Tesla has surpassed all competitors to become the most valuable carmaker in the world. Ford has a market capitalization of $56 billion.
Two battery facilities in Kentucky and one in Tennessee, both in a joint venture with SK Innovation, Ford’s primary battery cell supplier in South Korea, will be built, the automaker said today. The firm will also construct an assembly facility at its Tennessee headquarters to manufacture electrified pickup vehicles. Ford will spend $7 billion and SK Innovation will contribute $4.4 billion, according to the businesses.
At the very least, some of the new positions, such as those building electric vehicles, will almost certainly be unionized. A victory for Vice President Joe Biden, who has claimed that the shift to electric vehicles and renewable energy would result in the creation of millions of well-paying union jobs. However, it is unclear whether or not unions will be successful in organizing employees at the three battery plants owned by Ford and SK Innovation in the near future.